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What I’ve Learned in my First Month of Medical School

I can’t believe an entire month has already gone by!  In thinking about how crazy that is, I’ve decided to list what lessons I’ve learned so far:

  1. After 2 “crushing defeats” for other leadership positions in organizations at school, I’ve realized how necessary it is to have connections.  You need to know people so that other people will want to know you.  Being the first person in my family to attend medical school, it is hard because we don’t know anyone in that capacity.  Ugh!
  2. I need to study waayyy more.  During my first two weeks, I put in a lot of studying, but it wasn’t enough.  What I realized was that I needed to spend a good amount of time each day and study, that I need to at least skim the recommended reading before going to class, that I need to re-listen to the lectures if possible, and that I absolutely cannot do the majority of my studying at home (it just won’t work).
  3. As far as basic sciences goes, I’ve learned that there are a plethora of things that can go wrong in the body (mutations and diseases passed on genetically) and I am so blessed that I, nor anyone in my family, have any of them.  Also, I now know how the body metabolizes everything, cytoskeleton basics, and a bit about vitamins.  I’ve learned how heme is made, I’ve learned about hemostasis, and various techniques used to look at cells, chromosomes, etc.
  4. I’ve learned how to interview a patient and how nerve wrecking that can be.  I’ve also learned that I need to practice that and how much actually goes into an interview.
  5. I’ve learned some basic research information – how to identify a population and a sample, the difference btw bias and random error, and the like.
  6. I’ve learned how to be ethical? I don’t know if I’ve actually learned anything but we’ve had some very interesting discussions.  Actually, I have learned something:  3 things are needed to obtain consent from a patient; (1) they must be told of the treatment you, the physician, are suggesting – the pros and cons; (2) the physician must tell the patient about popular alternative treatments (basically giving other options); and (3) what the consequences are if they decided to take no treatment (pros and cons).
  7. How doctors and nurses needed to work together.
  8. How everything connects: the science, to the ethics, to the professionalism, to the clinical skills.
  9. How important it is to have a team of people to help you out: family, friends, colleagues.
  10. How to better manage my time (still working on that).
  11. Food and sleep are your friend, not your enemy!
  12. how much i miss my baby!

I’ve learned quite a bit so far.  I’m interested to see what the next month brings.

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About happilycb

I'm a general surgery resident and mother to a seven, going on 30, year old daughter.

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